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Tom microphones

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Tim Weaver:

--- Quote from: Dan Godwin on July 26, 2021, 12:37:19 PM ---Blues/rock/jazz mainly.  Not doing anything big enough yet to worry about rider friendliness, but Iíll take a look at the beta 98.  Thanks!

--- End quote ---

E604/E904's are a solid choice for this. As are 57's, beta56's, or MD421's if you want to spend some dough!

For this style of music I like the dynamic sound because it's warmer and fatter vs the condenser's attack/clicky sound.

John L Nobile:
I really like the sound and ease of placement with these mics

They're more robust than the old AKG "miniD112's" but they aren't indestructible. I got them for a drummer that was careful about them cause he liked how they sounded too.

Chris Grimshaw:
e904s for me. I think they sound nicer than e604s - bit flatter in the kHz range, and the off-axis seems less coloured.

The e904s are also basically immune from stick hits etc, whereas I've seen some e604s damaged/destroyed by drummers.

I did a bit of a write-up here:,166840.msg1538405.html#msg1538405
They're great little mics.


Brian Adams:
I've had 6 D2, 6 D4, and 6 e904 mics in my inventory for years. The Sennheisers were a fairly recent addition, maybe 4-5 years ago, and I've had Audix in my kit for over 15 years, and they were the only tom mics I had for a long time. I like the sound of the Audix mics, although I find that the D2 sounds best on high toms and the D4 on low toms, and they sound kind of awful if reversed. I've fallen out of love with the D-Vice and D-Clamp clips, although sometimes they work better than any other option I have. Most times I grab my 904's though, the clips are great on most hoops and they sound great. They have a metal body which makes them heavier than the 604, which means they'll flop around more the further you adjust them up the clip. If that bothers you, or if you don't want to spend extra money on the 900 series mics, the 604 is a good option.

One thing to note, the Sennheiser clips don't work on every drum, which isn't an issue if you're always using the same kit but could be a big deal if you're a provider. The Audix clips don't work on every drum either, which is why I have several options. I've also broken a lot of Audix clips over the years, both the mic clip and the part that attaches to the drum. If you decide to go with Audix, I'd carry a spare clip or two. And don't let anyone who doesn't know how they work take them off, or there's a fairly high likelihood that you'll need your spare clips for the next show. That's been my experience, anyway.

I'm not a huge fan of Beta 98's on toms, although they work well sometimes. The clip on them, and every other drum-specific condenser I've seen, can be a bit of a liability depending on the hoops. Might be something to think about. I haven't used the Beyer version, but it's easy to imagine how it would work, same as everyone's little gooseneck condensers.

I also have a bunch of DPA 4099's that I've occasionally used on drums, but usually for specific things like a wireless marching snare or weird situations like that. They work great, but they'd break your budget by a large factor, and they're probably not ideal for your situation.

In your case, if the clips will work with your drums, I'd recommend Sennheiser. 904's if you can swing it, 604's if you want to reduce the price and/or weight and don't mind the slight difference in sound. They both have a proven track record and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Richard Penrose:
We did a drum mic shootout a while back and had around 7-8 tom mics that we tried. The venue we used had an EV X1 line array system installed. The drum mics we compared were :-

Audix D2/D4
Sennheiser E604
Shure PGA 56

plus a condenser (possibly the Beyer TG-D57c) and another dynamic from another brand.

All the engineers and drummers present chose the e604's and their clear favorites of the bunch. However, when it came to floor tom the Audix D6 kick drum mic was everyone's favorite! I've since compared the e604 to the e904 and still preferred the e604.


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